Morning Weddings Are on the Rise

Bria Pugh found herself wide awake at 4 am She’s not an early riser, nor was she nervous before the wedding. This was the moment of her call for her hair and makeup before walking down the aisle to marry Matthew Norman six hours later.

“I was optimistic as long as I could wake up on time because it was going to be a crisis,” said Ms Pugh, 29, a customer service executive at Puig, a global fashion and fragrance company based in Barcelona, ​​Spain.

She wasn’t kidding. Three hours after hair and makeup, the couple was due to arrive at their venue, The Legacy Castle in Pompton Plains, New Jersey. The first photos were taken at 8 am. Photos of the bridal party arrived an hour later, and her 115 guests arrived at 9:30 for a ceremony that began at 10.

The moment came as a surprise to some, including Courtland Bragg, Mr Norman’s best man, who asked the groom if he wanted to reconsider.

“When Matt told me we were leaving the hotel at 6, there was a wow factor,” said Mr Bragg, a television producer for NFL Films, which is part of the National Football League’s production company. “I was like, ‘What? Are you sure you want to do this? That’s too early.”

He wasn’t the only guest suspicious of the start time. “We had a lot of friends call us and ask if the morning was a typo or a mistake,” said Mr Norman, 30, senior vice president and business manager for Citi Group Global Markets in New York.

The couple, who live in Weehawken, NJ, didn’t envision morning nuptials frsleepoverom the start. “They had to wait a year to get married because of Covid,” Mr Norman said, and after choosing their spot, they were told it was “booked for the year and only had this weekend available, and it would be for the morning “.

“We were against it at the beginning. All the weddings we had gone to were at night,” she added. “So we thought, we’re different and we wanted to do something different.”

Following the ceremony were a cocktail hour and buffet brunch where guests enjoyed mimosas, chicken and waffles and entertainment provided by a saxophonist and DJ. At 3 pm, the official party was over.

“We’re both exhausted, but it was worth it,” the bride said afterwards. “I would easily sacrifice four or five hours of sleep to marry the love of my life.”

A dearth of prime time slots at venues due to this year’s expected wedding boom isn’t the only reason some couples choose to get an early start on their wedding day.

Although Mr Norma and Mrs Pugh’s timing of the event came as a shock to some, he noted that others appreciated it. “Early morning was more suitable for our older guests, who wake up early anyway and didn’t want to come home late or sleep over,” he said. After the main event, Mr Norman added that some younger attendees continued the celebration at a wine bar in the hotel where the couple was staying.

The option to keep the party going is another reason some get married in the morning, said Sandy Pena, a wedding planner and owner of Ultimate USA Weddings in Manhattan. “They want to celebrate all day instead of just at night.”

“There was a time when couples just wanted nightly ceremonies,” the Ms. added the pen. But like Mrs Pugh and Mr Norman, “many have waited a year or two to get married. Now they don’t care what time it happens, they just want to get married.”

She’s working on about 70 nuptials this year and “more than 90 per cent are taking place before 4 p.m.,” she said, “with a concentration of those taking place before noon.” Popular spots include Central Park, as well as the Top of the Rock observation deck and 620 Loft & Garden at Rockefeller Center.

Millisecond. Pena noted that morning weddings not only offer natural lighting, which is optimal for photography but can also have a more intimate setting in part because venues may be less strict about required capacity. For example, The Legacy Castle has a minimum of 150 guests on Saturday nights and a minimum of 100 guests on Saturday mornings.

“Weddings in the morning are more pleasant, less crowded and offer a more relaxed atmosphere,” Ms Peña said.

Carla Friday, the owner of Details Made Simple in Westfield, New Jersey, which offers wedding day management services, agreed that “these events can be less formal,” but noted that they can also be “as elegant as a wedding at night.

Millisecond. Friday served him at Ms Pugh and Mr Norman’s nuptials, where “everyone was dressed to the nines,” she said. You would have thought we were at a night wedding.

Price is also a reason some get married in the morning, which can often be less expensive. At the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, weddings held from 9 to 11 a.m. typically cost less than $5,000 for tables, chairs, staff and an event facilitator, compared to $15,000 or more for the same services in the evening. said Angela Rollins, garden director of the garden. special events.

The site offers 18 ceremony locations, 12 of which host morning weddings for between 10 and 120 people. Millisecond. Rollins said he has seen an increase in these types of events, which this year started at 8:30 a.m. The venue held 170-morning ceremonies in 2019 and hopes to have between 210 and 215 by the end of 2022, with 80 booked. so far.

At the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, couples who don’t mind getting married between 9 and 10 a.m. before a maximum of 50 guests can get married at various locations, including the Rose, Water and Osborne gardens, for $600.

Kate Pauley, 32, The owner of Create Dinners, a Brooklyn company that hosts events and workshops for women, plans to marry Brian Vallario, 34, in a 10 a.m. ceremony at Brooklyn’s Fort Greene Park on June 3. Afterwards, the couple and their 30 expected guests will walk a few blocks to Maison May for brunch.

She said the moment “allows us to have all day and night to party with our friends.” But that’s not the only reason they chose an early start. The fact that night weddings are still the preference of many people also influences the decision of the couple.

Millisecond. Pauley’s marriage to Mr Vallario, owner of Off-Site, a company that creates prefab cabins in campgrounds, will be her second, and she said she “wanted this to feel different than what I had the first time.”

“Having 30 people witness our wedding under our favourite tree in the morning is as different as it gets,” he added.